You're excited to bring your new puppy home. You've got all the essentials, and you've scheduled your puppy's first vet visit. Our veterinarians in Bellevue explain what to expect and what to bring to your first appointment.
What Happens During the First Vet Visit?
During your puppy's first visit, your vet will likely do these things:
- Weigh your puppy
- Listen to its heart and lungs
- Examine your puppy's ears, eyes, nose, feet and genitalia
- Look at the puppy's mouth and teeth
- Check the puppy's coat and skin
- Palpate lymph nodes and abdomen
- Discuss the puppy's history and any questions you might have about medical issues, feeding and future care
- Examine the feces to see if worms are present (bring a stool sample if you can)
If your vet prescribes treatments or medications, confirm that you understand when and how they should be administered. Follow instructions to the letter, and book follow-up visits and vaccinations.
What Should I Bring to the First Vet Visit?
Try to bring these items to your puppy's first veterinary checkup. The more information you can give the vet, the better they will be able to treat your puppy and recommend any follow-up care.
- A written list of important concerns or questions that you may have
- Details on what types of foods and treats your dog eats at home
- A crate or dog carrier lined with some old towels that smell like home
- A leash and harness or collar
- A chew toy to distract your pup
- Small treats to reward good behavior
- A stool sample, as fresh as possible
- Any forms your veterinarian has provided that you have already completed
Keep in mind that small puppies will feel more comfortable and safe in their crate. Don't expect that you'll be able to carry a wiggly puppy when visiting the clinic. Puppies must be kept under control while you are at your vet's office using a leash or harness. This is why it's a good idea to bring some treats and a chew toy.
What Should I Ask the Vet During the Puppy's First Visit?
Your veterinarian should be able to give you all of the information you require to help your puppy grow. Based on the information above, if you have any questions that you believe they have overlooked, or if the information they have supplied is confusing, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.
Having said that, knowing what to ask on your first puppy visit can help make the most out of your first appointment. Here is a list of questions to ask:
Health & Safety
- How often does my puppy need to come to the vet?
- When should I spay or neuter my puppy?
- Should I microchip my dog?
- How many times a day should my puppy poop?
- Are there any health concerns specific to my puppy’s breed(s)?
- Does my puppy need flea and tick prevention?
- What is heartworm disease and why is prevention important?
Training & Behavior
- When can my puppy go to the pet store/dog park/groomer?
- Do you recommend crate training?
- How long can she stay in her crate?
- How do you potty train a puppy?
- How much exercise does my puppy need?
- How do I socialize my puppy with other humans and dogs?
- Do you know any local trainers?
- What should my puppy eat?
- How many times a day should my puppy eat?
- When do puppies switch to adult dog food?
How Much Will My Puppy's First Vet Visit Cost?
The majority of what happens during a puppy's first vet appointment is routine, but costs can be determined by a variety of factors like location, vaccines, and prescribed medications. Veterinary wellness programs, vaccination clinics, and pet insurance can all help you save money. You can contact your vet directly for a more precise quote so there are no nasty surprises.